Drive or Restore? 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

This 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible appears to be a nice driver-quality car. It can be driven and enjoyed as-is or it could be restored to perfection. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid just shy of $40,000 but the reserve hasn’t been met yet. The seller has some notes about the car having title issues and they also state that they will take the highest bid. Located in Whiteland, Indiana, oddly enough, there are no photos of the front of the car in the ad. Hopefully, the front end doesn’t hold any surprises for the buyer. A request to the seller for more photos or a walk-around video would probably be appropriate to protect yourself.

The seller says they believe the car was restored in the 1990s, so it could use a refresher. The upholstery looks great, but the carpet probably needs to be replaced. The back seat looks just as good as the front and the seat covers appear to have little to no wear. Under the carpet, you can see some sheet metal patches that have been installed with pop rivets. These areas will eventually need to be addressed.

The ad says the engine starts easy and runs well. It appears under the hood to be mainly stock with perhaps some new wiring.

The trunk floor has some surface rust, but it doesn’t look too bad. Again, this car could probably be driven as-is for a long time or restored to factory-fresh condition.

There are quite a few photos of the undercarriage and it doesn’t look too bad.  A few minor rust holes, but nothing out of the ordinary for a nearly 70-year-old car. Overall, this looks like a nice car but the title issues may hold back the bidding a little bit. What do you think?

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  1. John

    Lipstick on a Pig!!!! This is a beautiful car. Probably drives nice too! What lurks underneath scares the crap out of me. Horrible pop rivet patches. Probably the Bondo champion of the world!!!!

    Like 20
  2. Steve Clinton

    “What do you think?”
    $39,700 and the reserve hasn’t been met. I think I’d pass.

    Like 23
  3. Joe

    What the F is with “I had sent in the title last August to get the title in my name but after months of trying to get it back yet them saying they have the original title I have not/can not get it back from the state of Minnesota but they know it is in the system . so it will be sold with no title and I will not help in getting it.”
    I smell a dead rat!

    Like 4
  4. 71Boss351

    I agree with John! The title issue scares me just as much as the undiscovered rust that is not shown.

    Like 10
  5. Francisco

    I don’t normally like American classics. But this could be a beautiful car. I would own it just to take my girlfriend to the drive-in movies, then go for a burger and a grape snow cone.

    Like 7
  6. Chuck

    The fact that he will not help with the title problem would have me running!

    Like 17
  7. Daniel Wright

    Lipstick on a pig is right. This was refurbished and cheaply painted not restored. The riveted floors, lack of title and rusted trunk pan point to far more serious problems lurking where they can not be seen. This was a very nice car ONCE but not now.

    Like 9
  8. Will Fox

    Interior vinyl is the Chevy orange, while paint job is a generic “resale” bright red with white. Not exactly a match.

    Like 5
  9. charlie Member

    And the wrong red as well as the white. Most people won’t know. And with no title you can register it in CA but not resell it. NH won’t care. And there are enough of these of museum quality, and the market is dropping since those of us who lusted after these as teens are now approaching, or have hit, 80, and I don’t mean MPH. So maybe $22,000 as a driver would be sane.

    Like 7
    • Ken McClurg

      In Wisconsin a vehical this old can be registered as “title unavalible” with just a bill of sale and receive lifetime plates as antique or collector.

      Like 1
  10. John L.

    Ebay says the winning bid was $39,800. Too much to go wrong with this car, no title, seller won’t help get a title. Without a clear chain of ownership, the idiot, oops, sorry, new buyer, notice I didn’t call them the owner, could lose his money, and the car. Just saying.

    Like 7
  11. lbpa18

    Pre-sale inspection by computer screen. Buyers of vehicles like this are generally educated shortly after the sale rather than beforehand as they should have been. Hard lessons learned.

  12. Bob Mck Member

    No title? If this proves to be stolen, the buyer loses his money and the car.

    Like 5
  13. Alan Carpenter

    Wonder if the seller would mind if someone paid with a check that had some cashing issues.

    Like 7
  14. Robert P

    What are they hiding ,title issue, oh no I’ll pass

  15. Kenn

    Bob and Alan – I agree. The odds that this is a stolen vehicle are better than the odds of winning the lottery. Or of the sun coming up tomorrow. I hope the buyer can handle the loss.

    Like 2
  16. Harriston Richardson

    No title?? Thats ALL needs to be said. Next LEGAL classic please,

    Like 2

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